TERI India has completed a Scoping Study for South Asia Air Pollution in partnership with Ricardo Energy and Environment (United Kingdom), Nature Conservation Management (Bangladesh), Tribhuvan University (Nepal) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (Pakistan).
This work was supported by the South Asia Research Hub, Department for International Development, Government of UK. Several knowledge gaps have been identified, and recommendations are provided.
Blurb from the report
DFID has commissioned a scoping study to address key knowledge and policy gaps around air pollution issues in South Asia. TERI was selected to undertake this study in four South Asian countries, namely, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The main aim of the scoping study is to assess the current state of evidence of air pollution in these countries and identify the research gaps and priority areas at country level and regional scale.
More than 660 million Indians live in areas that exceed the country’s standard for what is considered safe exposure to fine particulate pollution (PM2.5). To help improve India’s air quality, researchers from the University of Chicago and Harvard Kennedy School have laid out five key evidence-based policy recommendations in a new report titled “A Roadmap Towards Cleaning India’s Air.”
“Air pollution is causing hundreds of millions of people in India to lead shorter and sicker lives,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics and the director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the Tata Centre for Development at UChicago (TCD).
“However, we are at the dawn of a new era where the combination of advances in computing power and big data are creating radical new opportunities for environmental regulations to reduce air pollution, without undermining the urgent goal of robust economic growth in India.”
The recommendations include:
- Improving emissions monitoring by better aligning incentives of auditors
- Providing regulators with real-time data on polluters’ emissions
- Applying monetary charges for excess emissions
- Providing the public with information about polluters, and
- Using markets to reduce abatement costs and pollution
Elaborating further, Rohini Pande, the Rafik Hariri Professor of International Political Economy and co-director of Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School, said, “While the economic costs of pollution are high, and there is no easy solution, we remain optimistic because of the incredible innovations currently being experimented with throughout India.”
The policy brief was issued in conjunction with the National Conference on Innovations in Pollution Regulation, organized by EPIC-India and the TCD in New Delhi on 13 August, 2018. Aimed at facilitating knowledge sharing between policymakers, regulators and academics on pollution regulation and measurement, representatives from more than five state pollution control boards and experts from India and abroad attended the conference.
Download the policy brief here.
Note: The material listed here is based on the press released from EPIC-India.